One of the really good things about Monday night’s performance at Arsenal was the form of French International Hatem Ben Arfa.
Ben Arfa – being congratulated after great goal at Arsenal
Hatem scored his fourth goal of the season and his fifth in total for Newcastle in 24 appearances, with a great bit of skill.
He got the ball to the right of the penalty area, and hit the ball into the back of the net so quickly, that Arsenal goalkeeper Szczesny couldn’t get down to the ball quickly enough at his near post, and Newcastle were ahead in the game.
In the previous game, Ben Arfa had turned the game against Sunderland in Newcastle’s favor, with a wonderful second half performance, and we need for the Frenchman to be in the same form tomorrow afternoon against Norwich, when we have to take all 3 points out of the game.
Alan Pardew seems happy enough about the way Ben Arfa has adjusted his game at Newcastle, and is willing to work harder for the side:
“Forget about the goal, because it’s almost like we accept that from Hatem, he is going to produce a moment of magic for us.” “But of course, the structure of our team needs to be strong.”
“We are not a dominant force – Hatem possibly wouldn’t need to work so hard if he was at Manchester United – but in our team, he does, and he understands that.”
“His performance at Arsenal was one of his best in terms of his diligence for the team. He understands that the team comes first, and I can’t speak highly enough of where he is at the minute.”
“He is one of our flair players in form, and we need one or two more to be.” “We are not firing on all cylinders – we need a win, probably, to do that, and that’s what we are looking to do.”
Newcastle lost 4-2 at Carrow Road in December, when we had to play Danny Simpson and James Perch in central defense with Steven Taylor, Fab Coloccini and Mike Williamson all out injured.
And Norwich had a field day with their crosses, from which they scored all four goals, and they took full advantage of the smaller players Newcastle had in central defense that day.
But the Canaries will find it a lot harder against Coloccini and Williamson, and after losing at Carrow Road, that’s even more reason why we need all three points tomorrow afternoon.